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US jobless claims rise as benefits paid fall; Wall Street in retreat; EU consumer confidence stays low; Australian budget deficits leap; UST 10yr yield at 0.58%; oil lower and gold jumps again; NZ$1 = 66.4 USc; TWI-5 = 70.2

US jobless claims rise as benefits paid fall; Wall Street in retreat; EU consumer confidence stays low; Australian budget deficits leap; UST 10yr yield at 0.58%; oil lower and gold jumps again; NZ$1 = 66.4 USc; TWI-5 = 70.2

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news the consequences of the grim pandemic toll is overwhelming investor sentiment.

First, jobless claims in the US last week came in at just over +1.4 mln and this was higher than expected and higher than the prior week (which itself was revised higher). This is the first rise in these claims since late March and might very well indicate a grim turning point in the post-re-opening period. The number of American on these benefits was 16.2 mln and down -1.1 mln from the prior week. Those that first claimed in early March are now starting to fall off the benefit rolls as their entitlement time expires. The future doesn't look bright for them and it is a trend that will only accelerate with substantial social consequences.

This and the worsening pandemic death count is getting investor attention this morning. Wall Street is down -1.3% so far today in a building sell-off. Overnight, European markets were basically flat with little change. Yesterday, Shanghai slipped -0.2% while Hong Kong rose -0.8%. Tokyo fell -0.6%. These were all after the ASX200 closing up +0.3% and the NZX50 Capital Index closing down -0.3%.

The bond market is also flashing warning signals.

And the gold price is up sharply again today and just below its all-time high.

EU consumer confidence isn't improving, holding in July at the same negative level as in June.

And there are more indications there is unlikely to be any EU-UK trade deal and the two are heading for the 'hardest' of separations.

In Australia, their federal government has delayed its Budget update until October, and yesterday revealed it ran a deficit of -AU$85 bln in the 2019/20 fiscal year (a year that started out with claims it would be in surplus). Their deficit is projected to grow even further this financial year, with their Government forecasting a blowout of more than -AU$184 bln in 2020-21. Taxes collected are expected to fall by about -AU$100 bln. If that all eventuates, it will be a deficit -9.2% of GDP, but it is likely to be worse and closer to -10% of GDP. They are also predicting their unemployment rate will exceed 9% by the end of this year. Others see it going much higher.

The latest compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is 15,302,000 and that is up +286,000 since this time yesterday. Global deaths reported now exceed 625,000 (+8,000).

A quarter of all reported cases globally are in the US, which is up +72,900 from this time yesterday to 4,135,800. US deaths now exceed 146,700 and a death rate of 443/mln (+4/mln) with the expected rise now kicking in as their lack of personal responsibility starts to have consequences. The number of active infections in the US is now up +16,000 in a day to 2,035,100.

In Australia, there have now been 13,306 cases reported, another +410 since this time yesterday, and still concentrated in Victoria but growing in NSW in Sydney's suburbs. Their death count is up to 133 (+5). Their recovery rate has slipped back further to 66%. There are now 4398 active cases in Australia (up +283 in a day) and almost all are community transfer.

The UST 10yr yield has dipped by another -2 bps to 0.58% and a new three month low. Their 2-10 curve is unchanged at +44 bps. Their 1-5 curve is soft at +12 bps, and their 3m-10yr curve has dipped slightly to +49 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr yield is unchanged at 0.87%. The China Govt 10yr is also little-changed at 2.92%. The NZ Govt 10 yr yield is down -2 bps at 0.85%.

The gold price is higher yet again today, up another +US$25 to US$1,888/oz. The silver price hasn't risen in tandem today however.

Oil prices are soft again today. They have slipped to just over US$41.50/bbl in the US and the international price is just over US$43.50/bbl.

And the Kiwi dollar will start today lower at 66.4 USc. Against the Australian dollar we are now at 93.4 AUc. Against the euro we lower at 57.2 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 has dipped to 70.2 but still in the range it has found itself over the past two months.

The bitcoin price has started a run higher today, up +2.7% since this time yesterday and now at US$9,625. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».

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113 Comments

Re jobless claims: 2021 will have quite an impact on jobs in the education sector due to no international students.

Education sector along with Travel and Hospital are finished for now along with many indirect businesses that will be affected by their closure.

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In the long run, fewer international students in the job market with no marketable skills but a worthless piece of paper is win-win for everyone but shady tertiary institutions, low-value businesses and greedy landlords.
Entry into NZ institutions is not based on merit, just willingness to pay tuition fees. Most international students only care about the 3-year work permits they receive upon graduation along with nearly half the points needed to qualify for residence visa.

I hear this claim a lot so I went looking for the evidence. Out of curiosity, what is your basis for claiming that the residence visa pathway is such a strong motivation for students?

For example, I found this:

"When asked about future plans, the majority of students (53%) planned to remain in the country after completion of their current course of studies. Forty-two per cent of the students planned to continue their education in New Zealand, 20% planned to return home for additional studies, and 13% planned to continue their education in another country. Twenty-three percent anticipated seeking employment, 10% in their home country, 11% in New Zealand and 2% abroad."

https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/international/14700

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On our last visit back to the UK we met up with an Indian friend who told us about his conversations with family and friends back in India. Basically NZ is seen as a very easy Target for Indian students to gain overseas education followed by easier access in Australia. They were laughing at us because we apparently we hadn’t managed to work this out for ourselves!

More than half of international students from India (>8k a year) enrolled in a private training institution in 2015 & 2016. They obviously wouldn't come all the way to NZ to study in these shady institutions run out of Auckland apartments with the intention of returning to their home country.
This enrollment proportion still hovered around a quarter of all students from India in 2019 after pressure. The drop can be attributed to many low-quality providers being shut down on grounds of fraudulent behaviour. Some were even found guilty of gaming English language tests and accepting money from international students in return for grades.
Here's the link: https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/statistics/tertiary-education/partic...

Thanks. I agree there are definitely some dodgy private training institutions. But the claim seems to be made more broadly as well? e.g. "most international students" above.

Perhaps I should be somewhat more clear about my line of thinking: I suspect that while the residence pathway is quite important to some/many PTIs, it's not as important to the unis as people think -- and that actually the government could tighten those rules without much of an impact higher up the education value chain, as it were.

Just finished studying and can confirm getting residence is main driver for many. One guy even laughed about failing a paper because he had just got resudence

10 years of seeing Indian "Student" labour in kiwifruit orchards. Spending time amongst them, a good proportion barely speak any english. Prior to 2018, many were fresh of the plane straight into orchards. It was obvious the Indian kiwifruit community (contractors) had pre-prepared pathways for these international students. Tauranga/BOP now has a large and growing Indian community due to this residency pathway (often complete with subsequently imported parents and sometimes siblings and relatives). So yes, in my experience many international students are here primarily for work and residency. Not sustainable for NZ or the industry long term. The rort had to stop (and rightly so) at some stage. Importing low skill third world labour (India, China, Vietnam in particular) is not the answer to NZ's economic challenges.

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Here's a link to an open letter to the PM from the Migrant Workers Association published back in May this year:
https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/05/01/an-open-letter-to-jacinda-ardern-f...

FYI The term study as a pathway to residency appears 8 times in the entire letter.
Still need more evidence or words directly from the horse's mouth suffice?

You have to maintain some semblance of a fig leaf, or you risk calling it as it is: Buying residency.

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100% Agree that for many education is a pathway to residency and is also marketed for the same.

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Which makes one wonder at the wisdom of the teacher (of some sort) who was on TV One this morning threatening "Action!" if pay parity wasn't forthcoming.
"Time and Place, Dear" I thought, and 'now' is neither. Just keeping your job might be more important?

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The real question bw is, why watch breakfast tv at all

Point well made! But it's my alarm 'clock' and cast a bit of light about on these gloomy starts.

True true. On lifting the gloom I find The Hosks upbeat manner gets me firing on 8 cylinders (sarc)

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I have given up totally on NZ tv - it’s aimed at 10 year olds..... seem to forget the rest of the world exists..... or is it deliberate to keep the masses who watch it unaware of world issues?

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The news is sub standard yes and then followed by those shows afterwards that dont know if they are news or comedy and fail at both. May as well have Jonno and Ben after the news at least they can deliver one funny joke in an hour.
It is staggering that Kiwis are swallowing that garbage but it shows me that we are not the critial thinking bunch that can use our brains as we used to be. The dumming down is clear for all to see.

Bring back the non-PC days of Marc Ellis

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If they increased the quality of information, people might begin questioning their destiny on the debt plantation.

TV is famous for being the culture of the uncultured, and the literature of the illiterate, which is why I watch the TV news once a month just to confirm this. So far, for the last ten years, totally accurate. If they deliver high quality news, they lose the audience the ads are aimed for. Mostly cheap foreign owned takeaways , from memory.

NZ TV7 was quite good, until they canned it...

I thought they just got a big pay rise, how much is labour in the pocket of the teachers union?

This time it is ECE teachers asking for pay equity: they want what kg and primary teachers are getting, claiming they have the same qualifications.

Staff working on our helpdesk and our platform engineers all have Comp Science degrees, I am glad they don't subscribe to this pay parity logic.

Teachers have pretty low salaries, overall. Doesn't seem like very successful manipulation, especially compared to what asset owners have received from governments and central banks.

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International students was bad business anyway. A young student relative believes she dips out on attention because of it.
International students pay, but the suggestion it also takes taxpayers money to service them.
But staff love it because they can use the money on pet projects - namely themselves.

Gold and silver prices going through the roof! So much more upside for both of them in this environment.

Can't be long before we see adverts on TV for them again. Will the front person be the usual old fella targeting the boomers, or a millennial targeting the sharesies crowd?

clearly the RH investors have come to their senses, however Im not to sure ETFs are the way to go.

My PMs are physical and cant disappear into thin air

Once one starts flashing a shiny bar arround on their pat themselves on the back social media sites, they will all want some physical.

Never been my thing, risky ponzi to be trading the raw material amongst 'investors' ... if I miss that boat then never mind

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Could you not easily replace " the raw material" with "houses"?

Investment houses generate rent so I would class them as an revenue producing asset as opposed to trading stock/raw material. I think that was his point.

Sounds like you never intended to get on the boat.

Not you House, the young fellas and fallasses tapping away on their computer who know it all but haven't realised yet they know bugga all.
Due to the continued deteration of the global mood / virus / and a adding a smack of commonsense In not going to get that beach property. Sit back and wait for me, bugga it.

Caution comes with experience, there is probably enough inexperienced older people who splash some of their pension and kiwisaver as an alternative to TD houses and shares... also the gains in nzd aren't as good as they appear in usd, trap for young (and not so young) players KR

The older knuckle heads were an existing market, it's the new young knuckle heads that are a new market that arguably have a greater disposable income. No kids, no house, a good job, bucks to play with and it's working for them at present, so in the pile in mass. Time will tell if they were lemmings or leaders.

The Robinhood crew are getting into PMs

Gotta love ZH and its irreverence suggesting that the mainstream is OK with RobinHooders piling into stocks like Tesla but tut-tutting at going for gold and silver. And it's kind of ironic given the backdrop in NZ where everyone is encouraging young people to enslave themselves finanically to chase a dream in a dysfunctional property market that is looking more vulnerable for collapse with every passing day.

Here comes Goldcorp again!

The very reason that I take physical possession. Those with long memories would not trust seller linked storage facilities.

You never know how their books are looking behind the vale. Any major financial issue with them and your stash is dust at the worst or locked up by the liquidators for a few years.

Ray Smith wrote a book about it, title "Where's the Gold". It is believable. His mistake was getting bored with gold and going into property development with his lawyer and a mate of that lawyer. The other two voted him out of a directorship, and trespassed him from the property, of the company when things went bad.. His story is the property development went bad after the 87 crash and he believes ultimately the BNZ got into the safe and obtained the gold to cover the loans they had extended to the developer.

My understanding from an ex employee was that it was common to sell Gold for storage and go long on futures to manage the market risk while leaving the cash in the bank for general use. A bit like banking, it's ok as long as you have enough physical to satisfy withdrawals. Whatever the case, while it was 30 plus years ago, I'd never trust a company to store my physical Gold.

This is why Bitcoin is better than gold as a long term store of value. Whoever has the keys owns the coins. You can store millions of dollars on a USB stick or completely securely in cold storage, without the need for expensive infrastructure.

Bitcoin wins over gold on every point except history. But with fiat around the world starting to collapse (Lebanon, Venezuela, tbd) and those nations rushing to bitcoin as an alternative the curve is being brought forward.

There's a good bunch of info-graphics here that show comparison https://kinesisgoldstablecoins.com/bitcoin-vs-gold-or-bitcoin-vs-gold-ba.... No one can predict the future, but my bets are on cypto-currency.

How to buy Gold was mentioned on Red Radio this morning so it's starting. FWIW Silver has jumped a lot more than Gold, in NZ$ terms and the margins for buy sell are enormous. I hope that someone brings in some competition, although physical supply seems to be the issue.

Starting to become mainstream now.

I’d say the latter. Difference between stock market and silver in particular is that silver is severely undervalued with huge upside potential.

Rationally. If silver was double the price I wouldn't bat an eye but I gulp at the current price of one shiny gold coin. $1890 for one coin, I would be scared I would misplace it, a lot harder to do with a kilo and a half of silver at the same price.

US New Jobless Claims = 1,416,000,000 or 1.416 milion not Billion

"First, jobless claims in the US last week came in at just over +1.4 bln and this was higher than expected and higher than the prior "
That is a lot of people. Do you mean 1.4 million?

The jobless claims were UP by 1.4 mln, currently about 44mln jobless (give or take).
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

US shares down today on the news, some such as tesla have every long way to fall. NZ index (leading into weekend) will no doubt follow

Tesla is up around 620% in 1 year, and about 350% up just since the Covid lows. Pure bonkers. And yet I see people raging it fell 5%, like that wasn't something to expect.

indeed, it has no fundamentals to support that valuation. Sure, the cars are sorta cool, and i'd love a model S, but Teslas Market cap is 10x that of Ford, despite making 1/100th? the number of vehicles, and Tesla makes more money on selling the emissions credits to other manufacturers than actually making and selling its own vehicles. Its going to crash hard at some point, but considering how insane the stock market is that could be years away. The only thing that could save them is if they really solve fully autonomous driving and get it past regulators in any significant market.

Yup. I love tesla but the current situation is bonkers.

If my silver goes mental, I'm going to buy one of those utes in silver as they presented.

Congratulation to the successful launch of Tianwen Mars rover mission by China yesterday.

VERY Impressive!

And again, in the Journey of a Thousand Miles, China is one step behind quite a few other nations....even Elon might beat them all!?

elon better watch out they will be trying to steal his tech IP, if you see them retrieving rockets then you know where that came from.
there is already stealing/coping of his tesla IP and he has only had the factory there for a year
https://electrek.co/2020/05/28/tesla-clone-xpeng-copying-tesla-website/

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Hi Xingmowang, At the same time are you also ashamed of :

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/07/kiwi-jewish-muslim-commu...

these liars ought to be shamed of.

I totally stand by the great decisions and actions made by theChinese government and people to fight against domestic terrorism.

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You mean most countries of the world are lying except China.

World over everyone welcomed Chinesse till the real motive was exposed. Now as China stands exposed will have to back of with or without a fight but most probably like any dictatorial regime will go down with a war.

You should realize by now the anti feeling that you generate not only in NZ but world over and you with your arrogance not helping Chinesse cause but adding fuel to fire.

Seems to be Comrade X on here, is to President Xi Jinping what Baghdad Bob was to President Saddam Hussein.

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Xing I have to wonder (like many others I suspect) if China is so great what on earth you are doing here ? Is it because of you’re here on behalf of your CCP paymasters ?

Your response exposes you more.

@David - you are also misrepresenting the data and only reading the first 2 paragraphs. From the press release you point to: "The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending July 4 was 31,802,715, a decrease of
200,615 from the previous week."

I just focus on UI (unemployment insurance) rather than "all programs". Many of these other benefits are very low, and not really related (directly, at least) to employment. It is the falling of "unemployment insurance" programs that hurts the most. Others like Food Stamps (which is the largest 'other' program) are generic social assistance and can be accessed whether you are in the labour force or not.

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https://wolfstreet.com/2020/07/23/media-continues-to-misreport-unemploym...

This makes clear that unemployment is NOT 16m in USA but is in fact 31m.

That is what my daughter in Ca is telling me, frightening unemployment numbers.

Trump is going to get even more fretful as those unemployment numbers escalate. Not to mention his frustration at being unable to strut around a stage to reassure voters. BBC article: Trump cancels Republican convention in Florida as virus soars. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53521896

Both numbers are right, but measure different things. You are 'unemployed' if you have been or want to be in the labour force. But in every country (including NZ) there are many more people of working age who are not in the labour force, through choice or circumstance. The metric we use to compare that is the Participation Rate. In NZ that is 70%. In the US it has just fallen below 62%, but has never been much above 62% even in good times. The general public gets very confused about these distictions and are easily led to dodgy conclusions. There is also the employment-population ratio which can be used to confuse people further.

David do the figures include their large illegal immigrant population?

Who do most of the minimum wage work that rest of "Americans" are too lazy and entitled to do. (Meatpackers, Maids, Gardners, Fruit Pickers)

Russia joining China in dodgy behaviour. Worrying.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53518238

How much are China and Russia colluding? Could it be that China's rather sudden bravado has come about because of an agreement reached between them?

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I dunno, but to cover my bum I am thinking I should start up ticking Xingmowang.
Never know, this could all go downhill from here and there may be some truth in Huawei monitoring.
Love you Xingmowang . . . . and the CCP.

Are you sure you are not in receipt of “Credible open source reporting”?

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In April the Sydney morning herald ran piece about a V shaped recovery ........this is now looking less likely by the day. Then it was to be W shaped recovery a few weeks later and heaven forbid it was even suggested in could be an L shape . Needles to say that economist was derided as a loon

I reckon there is no letter in the Western alphabet to describe what its going to look like

Small letter L? i.e dropping off a cliff

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No economist has witnessed a crisis of this scale, also the printing and distribution of money so are only guessing and final result may be tottaly different so is best to wait and watch how the panademic and economy unfolds.

It does make sense, no matter how grossly unattractive and intellectually bankrupt. There is only the one kind of training in colleges and universities across the world. Economics wields its iron-fisted grip on all levels of study. Sure, a passing mention or two of Hayek here and there, typically derisively, but by and large Keynes fills out the majority syllabus polished off with a heaping dose of Chicago-style Friedman Positive Economics and econometrics.

Thus, those who take any course in Economics have drilled into them the simple programmed routine intended to last their whole career: If CENTRAL BANK = ACTIVITY, then STIMULUS. Link

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Maybe the letter O laid flat, representing circling the drain. The "O Shit" recovery.

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Z
We are going to have to go backwards, and down before we get to crawl along the bottom.

Spot on BW. Definitely the best English alphabet letter to describe it. Nice work.

If you turn everything off and everything stops and then flick the switch back on, you would expect a V!
But its how far back up the V we get that is the question.. and how long it holds on this rebound. I think some of our local bank economist have got over excited when they have seen this play ......they need to think about it.

We could try the slash symbol (\)

Ø.. running round in circles before someone finally realises it and strikes it out.

Brewers droop?

I think what we're seeing in the US (with jobless) and Aussie and EU (with deficits) is a harbinger of what we'll get here in NZ around December - Feb. Things are gonna get messy.

The worrying thing here is that this is entirely likely even without a second wave. If that happens we might as well buy out the Aussie bank's mortgage books with printed money. It's the only logical extension of what we've been doing until now. People have short memories, they forget that market crashes tend to linger longer in NZ.

Don't we tend to rebound faster due to being small and ability to turn around to capitalize fast?
This time arround we have the ability to sell our relative CV free status to companies and high bet inderviduals. Hopefully Labour can capitalize on that but that is a stretch. We can't save the rest of the world but we could let some big money in to help us.

I'd be scared that having done the hard yards that some entity, public or private will sell our status in the worst way and we'll be back to the same place as Aussie. Selling our status is probably not the best way to put it.

It could be arranged in a temporary way and a sizable cut is applied. We can't just keep borrowing our way out.
We have a sellable item and we need to capitalize on that to bring bucks and employment. We don't just open the gate, we offer tenders to enter and take the best of the best that meet ethical / Green / viable criteria. 'NZ has what you want, what can you do for us' approach.

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Makes me giggle when I hear someone say that the NZ economy will be different because we have eliminated the virus in the community. We really do live in our own little world down here in the pacific

Me as well. We sit here in our little la la land of propaganda media that tells us we are world leaders in everything, we are rock stars living in God's own.
The reality is we are a spec of dust globally. Our one saving grace at present is being CV free(ish) and being small and adaptable.
Where are you based Young dumb?

it will be different. Just doesn't mean it will be better.

Most seem to think different means we will be better. The media really polishing up the economic turd

Imagin the crazy going down if the media didn't paint happy days.

preparing for the rise of crypto backed by gold. Watch those btc holders of thin air hitch their little con onto this.

preparing for the rise of crypto backed by gold.

Gold-backed tokens already exist and have for quite some time. The Perth Mint even has a gold-backed digital token. https://pmgt.perthmint.com/

What's not to like about this?

I already have my gold holdings via Pax Gold so this isn't new for me. Looking for a silver verison though!

Already exist. Gold and Silver Standard on Telegram.

This may be a stretch (as it would add to your workload slightly), but I wonder if we could add Silver and Ethereum to the daily updates. Both are counterparts to a big borther (gold and bitcoin), both have parrellels in terms of their relative price falls, and they have arguably utility functions vs being a store of value. Both up dramatically this year (quite similar charts) so it will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

Already started on the silver reporting.

Take a look at the US big three stock markets. -1.3%, -1%, -2.3%...
The Robinhood crew will be wanting out.. where to park those extra bucks to keep playing game???
Got to keep the endorphins pumping.
Edit.
And now it has turned arround...

-2% isn't going to do it, even for straight equity "investors". And as I understand it, the gambling aspect of deeply out-of-the-money options is highly appealing to much of this set. So even a big drop is a big win for those cheap out-of-the-money puts.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/high-profile-iranian-journal...
This report repeats Mr Boochani's comments about Manus being "terribly violent". With Manus Islander relatives I strongly object to this assertion. Anyone familiar with PNG will tell you that Manus Islanders are remarkably friendly compared to most Papua New Guineans. Even my wife who is Papuan and therefore biased against all other parts of the country says Manus is as near as you can find to the garden of eden - it has the bluest ocean, the most golden sand and the greenest natural vegetation of anywhere in the world.
A close NZ relative lived in Manus for six months last year. She had to walk to town but the refugees had a bus, she has land but is having to work in NZ to save the money to build a house whereas the refugees had accommodation provided. She tells me the refugees were highly educated, some with multiple degrees but they did get local girls pregnant.
This is just one more proof that there is one way for the educated elite and another for the subsistance farmer. It is all a matter of who you know. And I could fill many comments with the painful difficulties various Manus Islanders have had trying to get a simple holiday visa processed by INZ.

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